Can you leave employment to your beneficiary?

Success in business

Success in businessMilton Grant wanted to provide for his son, Thomas, through his will, but also wanted to ensure that Thomas developed a healthy work ethic. To that end, he drafted a paragraph in his will that provided his son receive lifetime employment from the company that Milton founded. The company, somewhat understandably, did not want to be forced to employ someone for a considerable length of time who might not be appropriate for the business, and fought that provision of the will.

In allowing the company’s position, and denying Thomas lifetime employment, the Florida appeals court stated two reasons. First, the language of the will was too vague; Milton had said that his son should be given reasonable and suitable employment within his company, but hadn’t specified what that should be. Second, and more importantly, the court found that employment cannot be given in a will because a company has a fiduciary obligation to its shareholders, and that being forced to employ a specific person at a particular salary would be an impermissible restraint on business.

You can read the entire case here.